Ben Queen/MetroNews photo

After lopsided losses to Texas and Kansas State, Juwan Staten says West Virginia’s players need to be “more firm with each other” in practice.

 

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — As K-State fans exited their Octagon feeling wholly satiated and West Virginia deep-sighed through explanations of a third consecutive loss, Juwan Staten continued his streak of patient postgame ponderings.

Saturday’s 78-56 loss was bereft of the feel-good traits that marked some of WVU’s more competitive losses, and Staten—his statistically superb junior season on the verge of being negated by a nonsuperb win-loss record—was asked yet again what the Mountaineers could do to right things.

First, that’s a tricky spot for Staten. After all, why would a 21-year-old point guard know how to retool a team when the answer eludes even his coach who’s four decades older and 700-plus wins wiser? But Staten offered a theory, one that involves him and sophomores Eron Harris and Terry Henderson pushing teammates harder.

“We’ve tried to be positive in practice, be role models in practice, but we might have to start getting on people a little bit more,” Staten said. “Once the coaches yell at you so many times, it turns into a thing where you start blocking them out. It really takes someone else to start drilling something into someone’s head. We need to start being more firm with each other.”

Clearly, all options are open right now, considering West Virginia has been dominated in its last two games by teams picked one spot ahead and one spot behind it in the Big 12 preseason poll. Whereas Texas and K-State opened this season with the same middling expectations as West Virginia, both are on pace to wind up with NCAA tournament invites.

West Virginia, which figures to be an underdog in 11 of its final 13 regular-season games, is on pace to record a second straight losing season.

Said Staten: “After playing two games and getting blown out like we have, we’ve got to change something.”

But what? In mid-freefall, where do the Mountaineers turn? Staten sounded rather coach-like by encouraging teammates to approach practices and game preparation with more passion. Zeal, however, becomes tougher to generate when swagger is slipping and confidence is reaching drought proportions.

As Harris admitted: “I’m just in a state where I don’t know what to do. I’m running out of answers for everything.”

The schedule does WVU a favor Wednesday night by bringing in Texas Tech for the return game. After that, however, the Mountaineers face a nine-game stretch against teams in the RPI top 43.

In case you’re wondering, WVU has dropped 18 consecutive against the RPI top 100.

The truth is we may have seen West Virginia’s ceiling this season—a team that on its best night can’t quite overcome quality opponents. And a team that on other nights has no shot at all.

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Comments

  • Tim C

    I have a solution to stopping the slide........LISTEN TO THE COACH AND DOES WHAT HE SAYS!!!!!!!!!

  • Barfly

    Boys...boys.....this ain't the MAC conference we're in. Everyone wants immediate gratification and instant results these days. It's going to take a few years to be competitive in the Big 12, so lighten up and watch these kids grow into what I believe will be a pretty good team.

  • Art in Ohio

    Thank you Ohio State. How you all looked down on us and now four in a row. My wold is looking better. Come on Mounties...do something..

  • Ed Reymann

    I'm a big Bob Huggins fan. Went to Cincinnati and his teams won every year. So to see his teams struggle is puzzling. But I do think that the switch to the Big 12 has hurt his coaching style. He always prided himself on recruiting guys who could hustle, play physical and were athletic. The Big 12 has taken that away. It really hasn't helped football either. Any chance the school opts out and looks to join the ACC?

  • L77

    If you carefully watch the game other schools play, you will see many two or three man options going on while the other players are positioning themselves for kick-outs to get the good shot. Our offense is set to include 5 guys all moving...the 1-4 scheme or the motion offense with a cutter moving toward either wing hoping to get ball. Very few score opportunities have resulted. I don't know whose idea it is to run the motion offense against the zone defense....that is not even done in high school games? Picks, screens, positioning and PASSES work for shots against zones.

    We need help in the coaching area badly!!

  • Art in Ohio

    Thank you Ohio State.

  • jdubindatub

    Lol cracks me up reading these posts week after week by some of you "mountaineer" fans. when they win its "oh boy look at how well huggs has the team playing" now that they are showing their true age its "sweat suit this" and "he's a terrible coach" that. pick a side. wvu or not.

  • duane

    Have not read any other comments on this page because i'm sure it's the same love/ hate drivel i have read on here before. Long story short not enough talent on this team. At least they are working hard and until the last two games showed improvement.If Huggins can coach we need to see it now.Go Mountaineers

  • wvman75

    Nothing on here but crybabies and Marsha fans. Which, now that I think about it, are one and the same. Go Mountaineers!

  • ShinnstonGuy

    "After the coaches yell at you so much you just start blocking them out." SHOCKING! Well apparently Staten is a pretty intelligent fellow. Perhaps the coaches should read this message board. I am a loyal Mountaineer, and have traveled the country to watch them. However, I recognize a change needs to be made. I never thought it would come to this, but yes I am being negative and yes the WVU athletics department deserves it. We have soccer, rifle, and women's basketball as sports you have probably heard of, and the lesser sports continue to improve, but the "bread and butter" (football and men's basketball) continues to slide downhill. Don't expect attendance to improve any time soon--I have marked my visits based on the women's schedule. Sorry Huggie Bear.

  • TIRED OF BS

    After reading these comments there are two things that stand out.
    William is Herd91 so just ignore this idiot.
    OKANYDAY must have lost a girlfriend to Huggins because you really have it out for him.

    Staten gets it, plays hard every play and most of the time makes good decisions.
    Harris needs to calm down and quit thinking he needs to do everything.
    Need help in the middle cause Williams can't jump, be nice to see Watkins come around a little.

    I just wonder if ol OK would be griping if Macon and Holton were eligible and we we're say 15-3 and 4-1 league play.
    Big what if but would like a true reply instead of babble

    • tw eagle

      ha ha ha ha . . . are you related to the ball hog , or maybe a wanna be agent if this me first , belongs back on the playground ball hog ever gets a look by the pros ? the ball hogs BAD decisions alone cost the Mountaineers the Okie St game . . . no.1 rule in BB . . . if four defenders collapse on you , dish the ball , cause at least three of your teammates are WIDE open . . . your teammates are on the floor to help create good scoring opportunities , not feed you the BB & pat you on the back . . . he has improved his conduct on the court and refrained from the antics that finally ired the officials enough to give him a technical . . .

  • tw eagle

    the BB defense , whether zone or man , switches its attention to follow the BALL , moving the ball an offense tries to get the ball ahead of their attention - to an open man , failing that , they try to penetrate by dribble , not to shoot & score but to draw defenders to them to open up teammates for an easy basket . . . if the penetrator isn't challenged he lays in an easy one - when challenged , he dishes to a teammate . . . what I see a lot of from this WVU team is a ball hog who (with major time on the shot clock ) driving the lane to shoot - not to open up his teammates , but to shoot the ball . . . playgroung ball at its best . . . I can understand some of the other WVU players throwing up shots early , otherwise they'd never see the ball again on that trip down the floor . . .at least the ball hog has stopped his "bush" antics that finally drew a tech . . . a "one man " team rarely wins anywhere but on the playground . . .
    this is DI BB , not shirts&skins at the Y . . .

  • SPIKE BISHOP

    My 2 cents, How do you get a 4 or 5 star player to come to Morgantown?? We're used to the Winters here, They're not. Where are you going to find the 4's & 5's? Not in W.V. So ,You've got to sell WVU on It's Coaches. That's A Plus!! As to the ones who left, They couldn't make THE COMMITMENT to The System. Your opinions of The Big East & The Big 12 are night &Day. The Big East you Mug someone & get a No Harm, No Foul. NOW, In The Big 12, It's Hands OFF!!! It's Hard, VERY HARD to TRY & Change The way You've Learned to Play. WVU Has No INSIDE GAME. The Scouting Reports ALL say the same thing. Guard The 3 Point Shooters. So, When You're One Dimension, This is what you get. You Think Huggs Doesn't Know That? They only way I see to get better shots are to Penetrate and Kick it out to a Shooter!! And Recruit some BIGS For Next Year!!!

  • William

    The only problem with WVU basketball is "Sweatsuit" BOB.

    How can any true mountaineer be PROUD to have this guy as Head Coach?

    The ship is sinking and yes -
    I'M LOVIN' IT

  • Tim walters

    Hey I've got a good everyone tired of the basketball team start following the Wvu girls.Also why are there not more girls games televised.Come on goes show the girls a little support.